TROY, N.Y. — The focus of Saturday’s Boston University-RPI game was on the return to the Capital Region of Terriers freshman and Clifton Park, N.Y., native Peter MacArthur.
While MacArthur got an assist in the game, it was a diminutive BU forward who stole the spotlight.
Five-foot-five forward Brad Zancanaro scored the first two goals of the game, helping the 14th-ranked Terriers to a 4-1 victory over the Engineers at Houston Field House.
“I didn’t mean to,” Zancanaro said about overshadowing MacArthur’s homecoming.
But MacArthur didn’t mind a bit. After all, it was the third straight win for BU (10-6). In those victories, Zancanaro has scored the game-winning goal.
“He’s playing unbelievable,” said MacArthur, who assisted on Chris Bourque’s third-period goal. “It’s great for him. He’s getting on a little roll here. It’s great for his confidence, and just building the confidence of the team.”
Zancanaro scored his first goal just 3:41 into the game. He used his speed to get past Engineers defenseman Keith McWilliams down the right wing in the RPI zone. Zancanaro cut to the net and had his first shot stopped by goalie Andrew Martin. Zancanaro got the rebound and put it home.
On his second goal, he skated undetected to the front of the RPI net. There, he took a pass from John Laliberte, who was behind the net, and one-timed it past Martin.
There was little RPI (8-9-2) could do to match Zancanaro’s speed, or BU’s overall team speed, for that matter.
“They’ve got a couple of quick guys,” RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. “Overall, I think they’re a good hockey team. [Zancanaro] is a fast player. He’s probably one of the quickest players in college hockey.”
David Van der Gulik made it 3-0 at 6:28 of the third, and Bourque scored 3:20 later. McWilliams got RPI’s goal with 8:06 left.
The Engineers had other opportunities to score. Kirk MacDonald was thwarted on a couple of shorthanded bids in the second period.
“They had us back on our heels a little bit in the first,” Fridgen said. “But I thought we did a good job. I think we were letting them play and not taking the body on them. Once we started playing a physical game, we created some turnovers, which we weren’t able to capitalize on. Had we done that at the time, it would have been a little different for us.”
RPI is off until Jan. 1, when it plays a two-game series at Notre Dame. BU returns to action Dec. 29 against Nebraska-Omaha in the penultimate game at Walter Brown Arena. … Engineers goalie Jordan Alford and defenseman Scott Romfo missed the game because of illness. … BU goalie John Curry was at the center of two incidents late in the game. He lured Vic Pereira into a major crosschecking penalty, and then roughed up Kevin Broad as he went after a loose puck along the BU right-wing boards. Scuffles broke out both times. Eight penalties totaling 27 minutes were called in the final 3:21.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.